Bent Words

Bent Words

December 31, 2006

Physically, we were always at least five feet apart, perhaps coddling a beer and only knowing of each other's presence. In our little circle of after hours stragglers, who rarely felt an obligation to run home, I cannot recall if ever I made you laugh or smile or even shake your head in disbelief.

Not the way that I do now.

I always felt that I'd never know enough to get the chance to know you. I always felt like you'd be on the inside while I tiptoed just beyond, in the outskirts of your world, never quite so bold as to open my mouth, save to ask if you needed another beer.

Than I found you employed at my old stomping ground and there I was, asking how long you'd been there.

"Maybe two months," you said and I couldn't help but smile, feeling that it was right. Good addition to the little lot of regulars.

Instantly, I recalled the night, the one and only night, long ago that you and I spoke at the garage door, facing the street as the traffic whirred by under a star lit sky. You remarked, almost passionately, about the mangled mess at the shop you were then working at. You told me how your boss breathed down your back and peered over your shoulder with inquisitive eyes. You spoke in tongues about the system your Parts Department was engaged in and I watched you speak as you stared at the ground describing your angst. You'd shake your head and look at your outstretched hands, as if searching for an answer.

I wondered about you then.

I wondered about you when I first made you laugh and when you could not help but smile as I bounced through the shop with Wang Chung Wednesday on the brain. I could see it in your eyes. A single glance which told me that you enjoyed my fervor and delighted in my dancing eyes. I wondered about you when you first took a seat at the desk nearest me and joined in on the conversation I was having with a customer. It was simple enough and yet you were just above detached. It was when I realized that perhaps you enjoyed my company.

Or, at least, you thought me intriguing enough to notice...

But still, I barely knew your name and, come to find, I didn't really know your name at all. So when, with a flick of the wrist, you held your phone out high in order to acquire my number just a couple of Saturday's ago, I know I blushed and stammered inside, wondering if you were really that bored. I thought that perhaps you had nothing better to do and that it was only in exasperation that you wanted to hook up that night.

That or you were just looking for some easy action.

Later that night, all alone in my apartment, I saw you in my head and suddenly began an early preparation. You had stated, after work, that you were going to call me in a couple of hours and although I knew you did not mean a mere gathering of 120 minutes, I still felt it necessary to get ready just in case.

I could not believe my lips when I invited you to my apartment. The sound of my own voice sounded foreign when I asked if you had eaten. I was so nervous, when you admitted that you could eat, that I wanted to take it back. My heartbeat pounded in my ears, my tongue became dusty against the roof of my mouth and I began a ceaseless pace, back and forth, from my kitchen window to my mixed drink upon my desk.

What was wrong with me?

We were just going out with the rest of the guys from the shop - it's not like it was a date. We were just grabbing a bite to eat at the local shit hole in the wall - it's not like we were getting dressed up in ties and heels with a reservation for 8 o'clock. It's just an area band - not a fucking masquerade ball highlighted with a small 30 instrument symphony.

"What's frickin' wrong with me?" I wondered.

Perhaps it was merely the idea of another man in my life. Even if ever so briefly, the idea shocks me. How do I act? What do I do? Only if I'm disinterested do I allow such goings on, so was it that I was actually interested? Naturally, I decided to say fuck it. I reasoned with myself that I was not betraying a memory and I just let it go...

And then you were there and I was there and we were there together. In my driveway, up my stairs, in my apartment. At the bar, in my car, at the show. We talked, we laughed, you nodded your head and I ran around in a fun filled frantic fury. Someone asked me to dance and when I looked up, I saw your face looking down at the crowd. Someone bought me a drink and I noticed your eyes glide over my shoulder. Someone said my name out loud and there you were, with a slight turn of your shoulders and a raise of the brow.

I wondered about you then.

And so I asked, "Are you just looking for a fuck?"

The slow surprise which melted over your eyes and silently turned to a stagnant shake of your head made me trust you and, somehow, made me question you more. I could not fathom your intent nor the nature of your heart. You threw me for a loop, as quickly and easily as I had with my forthright nature and, there I was, resolved to not care as long as you could not rebuke with a vocalized answer.

Gap the horizon, bridge the opposing shores, mark the waters now infiltrated by a new species of emotion.

The distance between two faces has closed.

Written at 9:24 a.m.